A Hearts Design

“Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest. Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things. Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.”

Ecclesiastes 11:4-6

Reading Ecclesiastes chapter 11 reminds me of my wife in many ways who just happens to be celebrating her birthday today. Not too many years ago she graced the worlds stage when she was born and every year since then she has sought to live her life to the fullest. She has excelled at pretty much everything she has put her hands on. From a softball to a volleyball and even an occasional soccer or football, lets just say my Ishtee has game. I love my wife. Thats easy to do as she is lovable but just as important, I admire her. She is a woman of faith and not just because she has a deep love and devotion for Jesus Christ. She is a woman of faith in that she is never afraid to step out and try new things. From bungee jumping, to white water rafting, along with every thrill ride she’s encountered, she seeks to live life with no regrets.

She loves being a wife, a mother, and Oma to our grandkids. As a consummate professional she is an esteemed colleague at work and a dear friend to many. In the midst of her busy schedule she still makes time to deliver a paper route for the seniors living in our community. On top of all that she recently started a business to sell her hand made craft items at pop up venues. Her business name is ‘A Hearts Design’ as not only does she love hearts, every creation she makes begins in her heart and finds its expression most often in scraps of wood she has found or someone has given her.  

The heading in the commentary for the verses here in Ecclesiastes chapter 11 are not only fitting for explaining these verses but it also articulatley describes the way my wife seeks to live each day of her life, “Spreading The Good Under The Sun”. Let me explain my wife verse by verse by sharing with you from Ecclesiastes 11:1-6. May her life encourage you as it does mine. Happy Birthday Ishtee!

Verse 1 reminds me of the new business venture she took a step of faith and began a few months ago. Verse 1 speaks of “widespread and wholesale distribution of what is good will result in a generous return in the time of harvest.” Those who sow sparingly will reap sparingly and those who sow bountifully will also reap bountifully too. This doesn’t just apply to the Gospel, it applies to my wife’s approach to life.

Verse 2 in the Believers Commentary says, “Giving a serving to seven, even to eight suggests two things—unrestrained generosity or diversifying of business enterprises. If the first is meant, the idea is that we should show uncalculating kindness while we can, because a time of calamity and misfortune may come when this will not be possible. Most people save for a rainy day; this verse counsels to adopt a spirit of unrestricted liberality because of the uncertainties of life.” My wife has always been generous but the older she gets the more she values people and time. Making things is an outlet for her. Its therapeutic in some ways and in others it’s an opportunity to make things to bless other people. Almost every gift my wife gives to her friends on birthdays or special occasions is something from her heart to theirs.

Verse 3 reminds us that because calamities are a part of life we need to plan. The word diversify comes to mind and one of the many ways my wife blesses my life is her ability to diversify. If there ever has been a multitasker, its my wife. I get tired at times just watching her. She can do more between getting ready for bed and actually getting in bed than many people can do in a day. One of my favorite stories about my wife that captures this thought was when my wife told me she was going to bed and so I went and got in bed as I usually would pray for her before she went to sleep. As I lay there in bed waiting (patiently) I noticed her shadow out the bedroom window on the patio. She was watering the many hanging plants in the dark. A few minutes later she went into the bathroom and then came out with a loud of clothes and put them in the washer. Every room she entered became a chance to do just one more thing before bed or she wouldn’t be able to sleep she explained 20 minutes later when she did in fact come to bed. I couldn’t help but laugh as she walked me through her reasoning process. She is without question like the woman you read about in Proverbs 31.

Verse 4 from the Believers Commentary explains the meaning this way. “It is possible to be too cautious. If you wait till conditions are perfect, you will accomplish nothing. There are usually some wind and some clouds. If you wait for zero wind conditions, you will never get the seed into the fields. If you wait until there is no risk of rain, the crops will rot before they are harvested. The man who waits for certainty will wait forever.” My wife is cautious but she is not afraid. She walks by faith and not by sight and because of the that she is extremely fruitful.

Verse 5 speaks of understanding God and how it’s not possible for man to completely comprehend the movements of God but we can see from His handiwork that He is unequaled in majesty. What's true of God can be said of my wife on a human level. She is simple and complex simultaneously, mysterious and beautiful and though I don’t understand her every thought nor her ways, I most definitely appreciate and admire her more today than ever before.

Verse 6 says, “Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.” Diversity mixed with productivity is how God calls us to approach the day, every day and that pretty well sums up my wife, diversity mixed with productivity. Like I said before my wife reminds me of the Proverbs 31 woman and today on her birthday its my pleasure along with our children and their children as well as our extended family and friends to say…

“Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” … “Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise” (You can find her handiwork on Instagram @a_hearts_design or on Facebook under Lee Osthimer).

Proverbs 31:28,29, 31



Michael Osthimer





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